Prof. Dr. Jessica Gienow-Hecht



Lansstraße 7-9
Room 216
14195 Berlin
+49 30 838 52873

Office hours

Please note: the first session of Prof. Gienow-Hecht's courses this semester ("The U.S. and Other Empires in World History" and "Canadian History in the World") will be next week, 26 October, not 19 October. The first session will be made up later in the semester.

Students wishing to contact Prof. Gienow-Hecht via email please write first to Verena Specht at

Office hours: please sign upon the list outside room 216 ahead of time. Regular office hours will take place every Wednesday, 12 - 1pm, starting 26 October.

Students with questions regarding history modules, module change, individual courses, course approval, course work, or grades are advised to see Professor Gienow-Hecht during office hours.

Academic Positions


Visiting Professor, Centre de recherches internationales, SciencesPo, Alfred Grosser Chair, Paris


Global Humanities Senior Research and Teaching Fellow, Harvard University

Since 2013

Chair of the Department of History, John-F.-Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin

2009 - 2013

Full Professor of International History, University of Cologne


Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha Univ., Kyoto

2004 - 2008

Heisenberg-Fellow, German Research Council, Center for North American Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main

2002 - 2003

Lecturer, Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, Harvard University

2001 - 2002

Research Fellow, German Research Council, Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University

2000 - 2001

Visiting Fellow, Workshop "Global America," Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University

1999 - 2000

John F. Kennedy Fellow, Center for European Studies, Harvard University

1996 - 1999

Deputy Director, Center for U.S. Studies, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

1995 - 1996

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institut für Geschichte, Universität Bielefeld



Ph.D. (Habilitation), Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg; "Music and Emotions in German-American Relations since 1850”


Ph.D. History, University of Virginia; "Cultural Transmission and the U.S. Occupation in Germany. The Neue Zeitung, 1945-55."


Master of Arts, University of Virginia


Intermediate Exam (B.A.), History, French, Economic and Social History, Spanish, RWTH Aachen


Certificat de l'Alliance Française II, École Internationale Videmanette


Abitur, Humboldt-Gymnasium, Düsseldorf (Latin Grammar School)


Awards and Fellowships

Global Humanities Senior Research and Teaching Fellow, Harvard University


Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award (for Sound Diplomacy)


Heisenberg Fellowship, German Research Council (5 years)


Young Scholars Prize, City of Krefeld

2001-2002, 2003-2004

Research Fellowship, German Research Council


John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund Award, Harvard University


Visiting Fellowship, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University


Myrna F. Bernath-Prize (for Transmission Impossible), Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)


Gilder Lehrman Research Fellowship, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City


Stuart L. Bernath Prize (for Transmission Impossible), SHAFR


John F. Kennedy-Stipendium, German Academic Exchange Service and Center for European Studies, Harvard University


Fulbright Research Fellowship (rejected in favor of JFK fellowship)


Bernard & Audre Rapoport Fellowship,American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati


Goldsmith Research Award, Joan Shorenstein Barone Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John-F.-Kennedy School of Government, Harvard U.


Quadrille Ball Fellowship, Germanistic Society of America


Research Grant, Harry S. Truman Library Institute


Research Fellowship for Younger German Scholars for American History, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin


Study Grant, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Univ. of Virginia


Research grant, Axel-Springer-Stiftung, Berlin


Academic Enhancement Fellowship, University of Virginia



  •  Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
  •  German Association for American Studies
  •  Deutscher Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen


Services to the Profession

since 2016

Selection Committee, Research Award, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), Stuttgart

since 2015

Review Committee, American Academy, Berlin

since 2013

Selection Committee, Doctoral Fellowships, Graduate School for North American Studies (GSNAS), John F. Kennedy Institute, F.U. Berlin

since 2012    

Committee Member, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); Selection Committee, John F. Kennedy Fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service

since 2011      

Member of the Executive Committee of the Organization for Identity and Cultural Development (OICD), Kyoto, Japan


Membership Committee (The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations)

since 2006    

Advisory Board, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin

Advisory Board, European Journal of American Studies (EAAS)


Prize Committee, Bernath Article Prize, Society for the History of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)


Editorial Board, Diplomatic History


Latin (A-level), German (fluent in speaking, reading, and writing), French (fluent in speaking, reading, good in writing), Spanish (good in reading, advanced in speaking and basic in writing), Japanese (basic in speaking and reading, beginner in writing)

Winter Semester 2016/17:

Master Program

MA History Colloquium, Mondays 16:00-18:00

The U.S. and Other Empires in World History, Wednesdays 08:00-10:00

Canadian History in the World, Wednesdays 10:00-12:00

Postgraduate Program

Disciplinary Theory and Methods in the Study of History, Mondays, 14:00-16:00

Research Statement and Projects

How does power relate to performance? How do hegemonic states and empires such as the United States seek to achieve geopolitical influence by non-violent means? How do non-rational forms of thought and behavior affect the decision-making process at the top level? Specifically, how does the quest to promote human rights merge rational and emotional engagement?

My field of expertise is the interplay between the quest for hegemony and performative imagery from the early modern period to the present. I teach and research international and global history with a particular eye on North America, and its relation to Greater Asia and the European continent. On the methodological level, I seek to understand the relationship between culture and politics, notably theatricality, in international relations. Thematically, I am engaged in a number of research projects and collaborations addressing the issue of humanitarian intervention, human rights, nation branding, emotions, as well as US-Ottoman relations. For publications, please check the corresponding link above.

In general, I am interested in working with students from different fields and very open to approaches that attempt to cross the borders to other disciplines such as art history, drama studies, philosophy, business, and international law.

Thematic Interests

History and Cultural History:

  • International History and the History of Empires
  • North American History
  • Modern History, 19th - 21st Century
  • History of the United States: Diplomacy, Culture 

Politics and Society:

  • U.S. Foreign Relations
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • Nation Branding — Performance and Self-Representation of Nations
  • Public Diplomacy / Cultural Diplomacy

Culture and Media:

  • History of Emotions 
  • Media History
  • Music History

Continents and Regions:

  • United States, North America
  • Transatlantic Relations
  • U.S-Japanese Relations
  • The United States and the Middle East


Transmission Impossible. American Journalism As Cultural Diplomacy in Postwar Germany, 1945-1955. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999. (H-Soz-Kult review)

Culture and International History. Ed. with Frank Schumacher. Oxford, New York. Berghahn Books, 2003. (Reviews: H-Net and H-Soz-Kult.)

Decentering America. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2007.

Sound Diplomacy. Music, Emotions, and Politics in Transatlantic Relations since 1850 Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009; kindle edition 2009; paperback 2012. (Chinese version forthcoming, Beijing: Beijing Yanziyue Culture & Art Studio). Read a review from H-Soz-Kult here.

Emotions in American History. Ed. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. (Reviews: H-Net and H-Soz-Kult.)

Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy. Ed. w/Mark Donfried. Berghahn Books, 2010.

Music and International History. Ed. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2015. (Reviews: Midwest Book Review, H-Soz-Kult, H-Net and the Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies.)

“Introduction”, Music and International History in the Twentieth Century (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015), 1-28. The text of the introduction is available here.

Editor of the series Explorations in Culture and International History. Oxford, New York. Berghahn Books, since 2003.


Essays and Articles

“Nation Branding”. In Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. 3rd ed. Ed. Frank Costigliola and Michael Hogan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

With Carolin Fischer, “Was ist und wozu braucht man „Nation Branding“? Versuch eines neuen Zugriffs auf Macht und Kultur in den internationalen Beziehungen am Beispiel der spanischen Diktatur”, in „Internationale Geschichte in Theorie und Praxis: Traditionen und Perspektiven“ / „International History in Theory and Practice: Traditions and Perspectives“, ed. Barbara Haider-Wilson, Wolfgang Mueller, William D. Godsey (Wien: Verlag Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, forthcoming).

"Europe's Cultural Habitus: Anti-Americanism in Europe in the Twentieth Century," in Transatlantic Relations and Modern Diplomacy: An Interdisciplinary Examination, ed. Sudeshna Roy, Dana Cooper, and Brian M. Murphy (London: Routledge 2014), 189-212.

“Protest und Dissens,” in Buchners Kolleg Geschichte – Ausgabe Berlin, ed. Maximilian Lanzinner, Bd 2 (Bamberg: C.C. Buchner 2012), 211-212, and Buchners Kolleg Geschichte -- Ausgabe Brandenburg (Bamberg; C.C. Buchner 2013), 396-397.

“Nation Branding,” in Dimensionen der internationalen Geschichte, ed. Wilfried Loth and Jost Dülffer, (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 2012).

“The World Is Ready To Listen: Symphony Orchestras and the Global Performance of America,” Diplomatic History. Forum “Musical Diplomacy: Strategies, Agendas, Relationships”. Diplomatic History 36, 1 (January 2012): 17-28.

“Buy One Get One Free”, Forum on Laura Belmonte’s Selling the American Way. H-Diplo (September 2011).

“’¡No, no somos así!’ El despliegue de la cultura americana en Europa durante la Guerra Fría” (“’No, we are not!’ The Deployment of American Culture in Europe during the Cold War.”) In Guerra Fría y Propaganda. Estados Unidos y su cruzada cultural en Europa y América Latina, ed. Antonio Niño and José Antonio Montero. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2012, 41-77.

“Wer gewinnt den Wettlauf? Stellvertreterkriege: Wissenschaft, Kultur.” Der Kalte Krieg—DAMALS. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2010, 83-90.

“The Anomaly of the Cold War: Cultural Diplomacy and Civil Society Since 1850." In The United States and Public Diplomacy: New Directions in Cultural and International History, eds. Kenneth Osgood, Brian Etheridge. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010, 29-56.

“What Are We Searching For? Culture, Diplomacy, Agents and the State.” Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy. Ed. Jessica Gienow-Hecht and Mark Donfried. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010, 3-12.

“The Model of Cultural Diplomacy: Power, Distance, and the Promise of Civil Society.” With Mark Donfried. Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy. Ed. Jessica Gienow-Hecht, Mark Donfried. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010, 13-29.

"The European Habitus: 'Excuse Me, I am not Convinced'", review of The Americanization of Europe: Culture, Diplomacy and Anti-Americanism after 1945, by Alexander Stephan, ed., German-American and German-Canadian Studies (November 2009), 1-6.

“What Bandwagon? Diplomatic History Today.” Journal of American History 95, 4 (March 2009), 1083-86.

“Europäischer Antiamerikanismus im 20. Jahrhundert.” In Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 5-6 (2008): 33-38.

“International Relations, Arts, and Culture before 1914.” An Improbable War? The Outbreak of World War One and European Political Culture before 1914. Ed. Holger Afflerbach & David Stevenson. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007, 271-83.

“The Cold War.” The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. Ed. Akira Iriye and Pierre Yves Saunier. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 174-78.

“A European Considers the Influence of American Culture: The Challenges of Globalization," eJournal USA,, Ed. U.S. Department of State (February 2006): 30-32.

“The Cultural Cold War In Europe.” In The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Ed. Melvyn P. Leffler, Arne Westad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 398-419.

“Decentering American History.” In Decentering America. Ed. Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007, 1-20.

“’Always Blame the Americans:’ Anti-Americanism in Europe in the Twentieth Century.” American Historical Review 111, 4 (October 2006): 1067-1091.

“Hier sprechen die Steine nicht: Die ‘Amerikanisierung’ des Musikkritikers H. H. Stuckenschmidt.” America on my Mind: Amerkianisierung der deutschen Kultur seit 1945. Ed. Alexander Stephan und Jochen Vogt. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2006.

"Von fremden Ländern and Menschen oder Wo bleibt der internationale Diskurs in der internationalen Kulturgeschichte?" Deutschland und die USA in der internationalen Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Ed. Philipp Gassert, Manfred Berg. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2004, 80-97.

"Emotionale Wahlverwandtschaften: Musik und Emotion in den internationale Beziehungen seit 1850." Erneuerung und Erweiterung einer historischen Disziplin. Eds. Eckart Conze, Guido Müller and Ulrich Lappenküper. Cologne and Vienna: Böhlau, 2004, 197-229.

"Whose Music Is It Anyway? The Limits of Transnational Culture in the Nineteenth Century." Straddling Borders: The American Resonance in Transnational Identities. Ed. Rob Kroes. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2004, S. 34-50.

"American Cultural Foreign Policy Towards Germany, 1949-69." The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War. Ed. Detlef Junker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 401-8.

"Cultural Transfer." Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. 2nd ed. Ed. Michael Hogan and Thomas Patterson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 257-78.

"Who Is Afraid of Modernity? Germany and the United States in the Age of the Penny Press." Atlantic Communications: The Media in American and German History from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century. Ed. U. Lehmkuhl and N. Finzsch. New York: Berg Press, 225-37.

"Trumpeting Down the Walls of Jericho: The Politics of Art, Music and Emotion in German-American Relations, 1870-1920." Journal of Social History 36, 3 (Spring 2003): 585-613.

"On the Division of Knowledge and the Community of Thought :Culture and International History." Culture and International History. Ed. Jessica Gienow-Hecht, Frank Schumacher. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2003, 3-41.

"How Good Are We? Culture and the Cold War." In The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe, 1945-1960. Eds. Giles Scott-Smith and Hans Krabbendam. London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2003, 269-82.

"Zuckerbrot und Peitsche. Die Rolle von Remigranten in der Medienpolitik der USA und der US-Zone." Remigranten and Remigration in den Medien der Nachkriegszeit . Ed. A. Schildt, C. Krohn. Hamburg: Christians, 2002, 23-49.

"German-American Cultural Relations, 1980-1914. A Historical Retrospective." The Cultural Turn: Essays in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations. Ed. Frank A. Ninkovich and Liping Bu. Chicago. Imprint Publications, 2001, 53-82.

"A Global Group of Worriers." Diplomatic History 26 (Summer 2002), 481-91.

"Cultural Transfer or Cultural Imperialism." Encyclopedia of American Foreign Relations. Ed. Alexander de Conde a.o. New York: Scribner, 2002, 397-408.

"Amerikanische Kulturpolitik in der Bundesrepublik." Die USA und Deutschland im Zeitalter des Kalten Krieges. Ein Handbuch. Ed. Detlef Junker, Philipp Gassert, Wilfried Mausbach and David B. Morris. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2001, 612-22.

"Shame on US? Cultural Transfer, Academics, and the Cold War--A Critical Review." Diplomatic History 24 (Summer 2000): 465-94. In January 2016, the Diplomatic History website recongised this article as the journal's 23rd most cited since 1977.

"Art Is Democracy and Democracy Is Art. Culture, Propaganda, and the Neue Zeitung in Germany, 1944-1947." Diplomatic History 23 (Winter 1999): 21-43.

"Friends, Foes, or Reeducators? Feindbilder and Anti-Communism in the U.S. Military Government in Germany, 1946-53." Enemy Images in American History. Ed. Ragnhild Fiebig-v. Haase and Ursula Lehmkuhl . Providence: Berghahn Books, 1997, 281-300.

"When Spengler Saw Jefferson. The U.S. Army Paper Neue Zeitung and the Image of America in Germany, 1945-48." American and European National Identitites: Faces in the Mirror. Ed. Stephen Fender. Keele: Keele University Press, 1996, 89-109.

"Trial by Fire. Newspaper Coverage of the Nuremberg Trial, 1945-46." Studies in Newspaper and Periodical History. Hgg. Michael Harris and Tom O'Malley. Westport, London. Greenwood Press, 1995, S. 167-183.

"The Decline of the German Language in Early America," Yearbook of German American Studies 26 (1991): 145-184.


Contributions in the News (Selected)

"Kalkulierte Katastrophe?" Die Zeit, 21 May 2015.

“Enttäuschte Europäer” The European, 1 October 2011.

“Eine transatlantische Wahlverwandtschaft: Friedrich Stock and Karl Muck -- Dirigentenkarrieren in den Vereinigten Staaten.” Neue Musikzeitung 59, 10/10 (October 2010): 3.

“Sanfte Macht: Was haben Musik und Orchester mit Außenpolitik zu tun?” Das Orchester (December 2010): 32-35.

"Model U.S. History. Studying Like in the United States." Perspectives (October 1998), 35-38.

"Wer jetzt Luftschlösser baut, gehört übers Knie gelegt," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 18 October 1995.

"Nicht der gute, nicht der letzte Krieg. Amerikanische Historiker pflegen moralische Selbstzweifel am Zweiten Weltkrieg," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 September 1993.

"Die Deutsche Bank stellt sich ihrer Geschichte. Erst jetzt zugängliches Archivmaterial soll die Rolle des Instituts im Dritten Reich klären," Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24 December 1992.

"Zentrales Parteiarchiv der SED-Nachfolgerin PDS. Wissenschaftler vor verschlossenen Toren," Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18 December 1992.

"Heimat and Feindbild. Jahrestagung der Ranke-Gesellschaft," Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1 December 1992.

"Alte Rivalitäten in der Neuen Welt," Die Welt, 23 June 1992.

"Umerziehung and Kulturkampf. Zum Symposium über 'Erziehung in den USA and der Bundesrepublik' in Tübingen," Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13 July 1992.

"Sünden, Seelen, Staatsraison. 14. Jahreskonferenz der deutschen Amerikahistoriker in Blaubeuren," Die Welt, 28 February 1992.

"Im Irrgarten der Stimmen. Ein Symposium zum Einfluss emigrierter Juristen in Amerika," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 September 1991.

"Mim Beisickel fahr'n. Warum Deutsch nicht Amtssprache in Amerika wurde," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 31 July 1990.

Media - Audiovisual Interviews

“Europe and America”, Carpet Bombing in Germany, To the Best of Our Knowledge, WPR (US), 23 February 2003 (

“Die Konferenz von Casablanca,” ZeitZeichen, WDR 2, 14 January 2008, ( or

“Kinder and Karriere,” Kontrovers, HR2, 19 April 2008.

Interview on Sound Diplomacy, “Frührausch”, Hochschulradio Kölncampus, 5 February 2010, 9:16 am.

Interview on Sound Diplomacy, “Der Tag”, DRadio Wissen/Deutschlandfunk, 17 February 2010, 9:45 am.

"Gute und schlechte Nachrichten", Oase, WDR 5, 29 January 2011.

Interview with Juan Martin Koch (Neue Musikzeitung) on Sound Diplomacy, Frankfurt Music Fair, 24 March 2010.

"Gelebte Utopie im Wald von Tennessee", article and interview on the town of Rugby, Tennessee, on Deutschlandradio Kultur, 13 January 2016.

"Die Operation 'Desert Storm' und die Folgen", interview with Deutschlandradio, 16 January 2016, 5:16 pm.

Deutschlandfunk's coverage on Jessica Gienow-Hecht and Friedrich Kießling’s section "Von »guten Nachbarn« und »deutschen Wegen«. Rollenbilder und Machtdiskurse im außenpolitischen Selbstverständnis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1969–2005”, at the 51st annual "Historikertag", Hamburg, 21 September 2016.